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The Training and Socialization of Combatants to IHL Norms: A Brief Review

Can state and nonstate armed forces and humanitarian organizations socialize combatants to “norms of restraint”—in essence, train soldiers to adopt norms of international humanitarian law (IHL) on the battlefield? And, importantly, how can the effectiveness of this socialization be evaluated? The importance of effective training for generating compliance with IHL has long been recognized by IHL proponents, but until recently academic and policy studies have generally underemphasized empirically-based examinations of the efficacy of IHL training methods. A paucity of data and methodologically-oriented analyses has thus inhibited the ability of militaries and organizations that promote IHL to institute robust and effective training processes. While scholars are now finding that training can help transmit IHL norms to combatants, evaluating the efficacy of such training continues to present hurdles for proponents of IHL in academic, military, and humanitarian policy communities.

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Joint Symposium: The Oxford Forum for International Humanitarian Law Compliance

This is the first post in a joint symposium hosted by EJIL:Talk and Articles of War, the blog of the Lieber Institute at West Point. The symposium reflects a series of conversations held in the context of the Oxford Forum for International Humanitarian Law Compliance, an initiative to promote dialogue between scholars and practitioners on…

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David Lefkowitz’s response to EJILTalk! commentators

I am extremely grateful to Andreas Follesdal and Steven Ratner for organizing this symposium, to the European Journal of International Law for hosting it on its blog, and to Alejandro Chehtman, Adil Haque, Carmen Pavel, and Nicole Roughan for their generous praise of my book, and the thoughtful challenges they press against various arguments contained therein.  I wrote…

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Philosophy and the Laws of Armed Conflict

David Lefkowitz’s Philosophy and International Law is an ambitious, thought-provoking, and didactic examination of many key jurisprudential, political, and ethical issues at the core of the international legal system. Its title captures well not only the overall theme of the book (you would have guessed that much), but also its emphasis: it is a philosophical inquiry about international…

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Comment on Lefkowitz, Philosophy and International Law: a critical introduction

David Lefkowitz has produced a book of remarkable clarity, depth, and insight, which directly explains and addresses international legal scepticism. It is a persuasive demonstration of how to enrich the philosophy of law through attention to matters other than myopic insider debates and systems other than state law; and how to cut through to the core of key…

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